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Class of the Field
Adam Barton

A Formula One fan since he was six, back while Häkkinen and Schumacher were having many an epic battle, Adam has seen a great deal. From German domination (twice), to British determination (once) and a Spanish invasion. A near compulsive fan who one day hopes to write about the sport for a living, outside of F1 Adam also authors his own blog One Guy's Opinion.

Bottas puts Williams back on track - Sterling drive brings much-needed points for the Grove squad


Another 2016 race, another intriguing tactical battle as all 11 teams sat on the knife edge between preserving the tyres to eke out a one stop strategy and getting aggressive and using the grip advantage of stopping an extra time. In the end, it depended on your scenario and whether you committed to your strategy; the two stop strategy appeared the fastest option in a vacuum but at the end of the day, Hamilton overtook Vettel to win the race using a one stop strategy as Ferrari once again failed to convert a guilt edged opportunity into victory.

Bottas delivers as others ahead falter

Valtteri Bottas, Williams Martini Racing: Started 7th, Finished 3rd

Quietly, Williams have been one of the biggest disappointments so far this season. Canada was another example of this as they were clearly the fourth fastest car on a track that should suit their slippery design, but Valtteri Bottas managed to outperform the car. The Finn ended up a tenth behind the very disappointing Kimi Räikkönen in seventh in qualifying, edging out teammate Felipe Massa by a tenth or so. While it was tight on the grid between rows three and four, Williams should be expecting to challenge for the second row, especially in Canada.

Bottas impresses in the Williams

Both of the Williams rather held station at the start, with Bottas heading Massa, only gaining a place when Rosberg was slow rejoining the track coming out of turn two, and it looked as though it would be a lonely battle between the two for the rest of the race. However, Williams felt that with a good strategy they could compete with Red Bull and Kimi Räikkönen for a podium, depending on how far Rosberg could fight through the field.

Bottas was one of the last to pit - only Lewis Hamilton made the ultrasofts last longer in the first stint, eventually pitting on lap 29. The crucial thing that made Bottas’ race was that even though he was running a long first stint, he was quick towards the end of it, putting him in play with Ricciardo and Räikkönen as they got stuck in traffic. By the time the first stops had played out Bottas was up to sixth behind Verstappen, Räikkönen and Ricciardo. Bottas’ compatriot Räikkönen would have to stop again but Rosberg was approaching fast.

Even though he was running a long first stint, he was quick towards the end of it

Bottas was able to hold off Rosberg, using his Mercedes power unit to good effect. Once Räikkönen had pitted and Ricciardo straight-lined the final chicane, allowing Bottas through and flatspotting his tyres, the Finn was up to fourth and starting to catch Verstappen. Red Bull decided to bail out of a one stop and pit the Dutchman with 24 laps remaining, conceding track position to Bottas but remaining hopeful that fresher, softer rubber would allow Verstappen to attack in the closing stages.

In the end, it was Verstappen's ultrasofts that lost grip first and he was left to fend off Nico Rosberg’s advances while Bottas was able to nurse the car home for Williams’ first podium of the season.

Sainz recovers well from Saturday slip

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Toro Rosso: Started 20th, Finished 9th

Sainz did rather blot his copybook in qualifying, but he’s by no means the first driver to make that mistake – it’s named the Wall of Champions for a reason. Nevertheless it left Sainz 16th on the grid when Q3 was a possibility. The Spaniard’s Sunday was complicated further as the crash necessitated a gearbox change and the obligatory penalty, dropping Sainz to the penultimate row of the grid.

Sainz was on it from the word go
Credit: Peter Fox/Getty

The performance was far better on Sunday, as Sainz was on it from the word go, up to 16th by the end of lap 1, which proved crucial to his race. Clearing the Saubers, Manors and Renault meant that Sainz could run at a faster speed, unabated by the back markers. The Spaniard knew that overtaking the rest of the midfield would be a far greater challenge and so Toro Rosso decided to swap to a two stop and use the raw pace of the car in clear air by pitting on lap 13. The strategy worked as Sainz ended the stops in 11th but he had to keep attacking, knowing that he had another pit stop to make.

Sainz made it past Pérez once the Force India pitted and Felipe Massa’s retirement promoted him to ninth as he built up enough of a gap over Pérez and Alonso to pit without losing position. Then it was a matter of managing the gaps between the two Force Indias for a fifth points finish this season.

Sainz has only missed the points once when he’s finished the race this season and once again put Kvyat in the shade, finishing 35 seconds clear of the Russian despite starting behind him.

Hulk battles back against Pérez

Nico Hülkenberg, Sahara Force India Formula One Team: Started 9th, Finished 8th

The German’s stock has been taking a big hit over the last 12 months but the last couple of races have shown glimpses of the driver who was hotly tipped to sign for Ferrari not all too long ago. While there wasn’t the glamour of fifth on the grid as in Monaco, Hülkenberg performed just as well in Canada, making it into Q3 by a tenth and a half ahead of Alonso and his spotlight-hogging teammate Sergio Pérez.

Hülkenberg’s deft touch kept him in play

Hülkenberg gained a position over Rosberg at the start and was able to hold his compatriot back, with the help of Alonso as a buffer until lap 10. Hülkenberg wasn’t one to bite on the undercut, partaking in Force India's usual trick of running longer than their rivals in the first stint, pitting on lap 21 and dropping into the midfield battle in 10th, but the Silverstone team remained committed to their strategy and Hülkenberg’s deft touch kept him in play. He pitted again on lap 52 to consolidate 8th after Massa retired and ran the soft tyre until the end, finishing a few seconds ahead of Sainz but unable to match the pace of Ricciardo ahead.

Hülkenberg performed just as well in Canada
Credit: Sahara Force India